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Protesters call for Latif's reinstatement

About 200 supporters of Rashid Latif staged a protest on Thursday, calling for him to lead Pakistan in the series against South Africa.

india Updated: Sep 25, 2003 19:16 IST

About 200 supporters of former national cricket captain Rashid Latif staged a protest Thursday, calling for him to lead Pakistan in next month's home series against South Africa.

Latif's resignation was accepted by the Pakistan Cricket Board on Thursday after the wicketkeeper stepped down Wednesday citing personal reasons.

"Match-fixing mafia is behind Latif's ouster," Salim Ahmed, a fan of Latif who led the procession told reporters as they protested in front of the Karachi Press Club.

"He (Latif) is an honest man and he should be brought back as captain of the Pakistan team."

Inzamam-ul-Haq, who led Pakistan to a 5-0 victory in this month's limited over series against Bangladesh, was appointed Pakistan captain for the upcoming home series against South Africa.

The protestors held banners reading: "Save cricket by appointing Rashid Latif as captain" and "we are against selection committee."

Latif, 34, was suspended for five one-day internationals by South African match referee Mike Procter earlier this month for falsely claiming a catch during the third test against Bangladesh in Multan.

However, he was named in the 16-member squad to take on South Africa in the five-match one-day international series, starting in Lahore Oct. 3.

Latif, Pakistan's prolific gloveman, has scored 1381 runs in 37 test matches since making his debut against England at The Oval in 1992. He has also claimed 119 catches and 11 stumpings in his test career.

In 161 one-day internationals, Latif has made 1632 runs and has taken 179 catches along with 37 stumpings.

Latif first accused former captain Salim Malik of wrongdoings in 1994-95 before resigning with Basit Ali in protest. He was appointed captain in 1998 before he gave audio evidence against Pakistan players to Justice Malik Muhammad's inquiry into match-fixing.

Malik was banned for life from international cricket while senior players including Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul-Haq were fined.

First Published: Sep 25, 2003 19:16 IST